Monday, January 10, 2011

Where have I been? (Pay-for-delay)

No…I’m not providing a long-overdue update on my treatment. I’ll get around to that one of these days. I’ve yet to share some wonderful...even spiritual...experiences from my December birthday, as well as the news about grandchild number 3, due in June.

What’s finally prompting me to write is my reaction to reading a small piece on page 2 of yesterday’s Union Tribune (San Diego.)

We all have our opinions of what is wrong with our health-care system, and I’ve tended to practice old-fashioned caution about voicing my political opinion, lest I offend friends. And though I KNOW it’s too easy to point the finger at pharmaceutical companies, I’m still shaking my head after reading yesterday’s article, which covered the practice of “pay-for-delay.”

“Pay-for-delay” is a practice whereby a manufacturer of name-brand drugs pays competing manufacturers to withhold marketing of generic equivalent meds, thereby allowing the manufacturer of the name-brand drug to continue to charge name-brand prices past the expiration of the patent. And the company who might otherwise be selling the generic med is able to make millions, for a drug they don't even sell...all while avoiding manufacturing and marketing costs.

Any of you ever taken Cipro? Well, evidently the Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments next week against Bayer Corp, the manufacturer of Cipro. Bayer is alledged to have paid competitors $400 million to keep generic versions of Cipro off the market. According to a link I found (after searching “patent expiration Cipro”), Bayer’s patent on Cipro expired in December of 2003.

Even if your meds are covered by insurance, keeping the prices of meds artificially inflated by these back-door deals comes out of ALL of our pockets. In fact, according to an on-line article in The Washington Post (7/29/10), the Federal Trade Commission estimates that the practice of pay-for-delay costs consumers over $3 Billion ANNUALLY.

I watch the news…how could I have missed this story before? Are any of you familiar with this practice?? I’m sure hoping we’ll be hearing shortly that this practice has been officially banned.


  1. Welcome to the world of hard cold cash.
    I have read a lot of articles about the generic drugs that are made and distributed in places like India. Apparently they do not follow the rules of other companies and make their own brand of drugs which in almost all cases are as effective as what we get here.
    The human life has no meaning for these executives, they all care about the bottom line.
    i hope the conservatives on the Supreme court do not block theses hearings and make it illegal for such practices.

    Thanks for pointing this article out to me, now I will go and try to research it more.
    Keep the fighting spirit up.


  2. No, haven't heard of this. Thanks for the enlightenment, and reminder that our society has become so horrifically uncaring! Sadness abounds! --Janet

  3. Thanks Roya! I know you stay on top of the news, and it sounds like you weren't familiar with this practice either!
    Yup...some politicians will turn their backs while Big Pharmaceutical Companies charge what they want, as long as they want, and then pretend that exhorbitant prescription costs aren't part of the problem with our nation's healthcare costs.

  4. That's obscene. Things are not much better here in Canada. There can be a six month wait to see an oncologist, with an initial cancer diagnosis. It's almost like the health care system is trying to kill us, sometimes. PS, I'm reading your posts backwards, and I meant to say what an awesome picture that is on your next post, of the flowers. (Wow, that sounds kind of weird, doesn't it?)

  5. Interesting and extremely unfortunate ;( I hate the fact that this does NOT surprise me on bit.

  6. OMG---SIX months?! I understand there must be an approval process...but something is wrong with that!


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